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Witnesses watch 91 year old man get beaten

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Postby Lofunzo » Thu May 17, 2007 3:51 pm

lmcjaho wrote:
Lofunzo wrote:Back to the "mental flowchart" thing, it seems like you didn't use it, either. In those situations, I would assume that it is usually just a reactionary thing when you intervene. Those that actually take the time to think about it were more than likely those watching and doing nothing.


Oh for sure - if I had thought it through at the time the butt end of my pool cue would have been in my hands when I intervened instead of safely ensconced in the case across my back...


Not sure that I would be able to do that if I had a $500 Meucci in the case.
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Postby joelamosobadiah » Thu May 17, 2007 7:42 pm

Some nice stories there lmcjaho and ORS. ;-D

I would think and hope that I would react in that way had I been in the same situations. ;-D

Once I was eating at a fast food restaurant and about four normal looking teens came in and started talking to one of the workers. After a little while he came out from behind the counter and they were kind of gathered around him. I was on the edge of my seat ready to intervene if necessary, but after a while of heated yet quiet discussion, he gave them some money and they left. Looking back on it, I should have called the cops because it was most likely something illegal. Looked like a drug deal or something to me. Anyway, I was ready to intervene, but even though there were four of them, they weren't that big and it was a public place so I would doubt that they were ready to get overly violent.
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Postby Omaha Red Sox » Thu May 17, 2007 8:24 pm

joelamosobadiah wrote:Some nice stories there lmcjaho and ORS. ;-D

I would think and hope that I would react in that way had I been in the same situations. ;-D

Once I was eating at a fast food restaurant and about four normal looking teens came in and started talking to one of the workers. After a little while he came out from behind the counter and they were kind of gathered around him. I was on the edge of my seat ready to intervene if necessary, but after a while of heated yet quiet discussion, he gave them some money and they left. Looking back on it, I should have called the cops because it was most likely something illegal. Looked like a drug deal or something to me. Anyway, I was ready to intervene, but even though there were four of them, they weren't that big and it was a public place so I would doubt that they were ready to get overly violent.


Chances are, not a drug deal. And if it was you likely don't have to worry about them any more. They've been caught. The kid probably just owed money or something.
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Postby joelamosobadiah » Thu May 17, 2007 8:27 pm

Omaha Red Sox wrote:
joelamosobadiah wrote:Some nice stories there lmcjaho and ORS. ;-D

I would think and hope that I would react in that way had I been in the same situations. ;-D

Once I was eating at a fast food restaurant and about four normal looking teens came in and started talking to one of the workers. After a little while he came out from behind the counter and they were kind of gathered around him. I was on the edge of my seat ready to intervene if necessary, but after a while of heated yet quiet discussion, he gave them some money and they left. Looking back on it, I should have called the cops because it was most likely something illegal. Looked like a drug deal or something to me. Anyway, I was ready to intervene, but even though there were four of them, they weren't that big and it was a public place so I would doubt that they were ready to get overly violent.


Chances are, not a drug deal. And if it was you likely don't have to worry about them any more. They've been caught. The kid probably just owed money or something.


Yeah, chances are it wasn't a huge deal, but the guy who gave the money looked very scared/nervous and the other four were rather stuck up and forceful....

Definitely was fishy but regardless, it probably wasn't a HUGE deal or anything.
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Postby ShoelessJoe » Thu May 17, 2007 8:32 pm

This happened before and has been studied thoroughly by psychologists.

38 people heard Kitty Genovese's screams as she was stabbed to death in the 1964.

Here's a very in depth story...
http://www.crimelibrary.com/serial_kill ... _genovese/

The conclusion was that it was a diffusion of responsibilty by those present and has since been an example of bystander non-intervention.
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Postby wake » Thu May 17, 2007 10:13 pm

ShoelessJoe wrote:This happened before and has been studied thoroughly by psychologists.

38 people heard Kitty Genovese's screams as she was stabbed to death in the 1964.

Here's a very in depth story...
http://www.crimelibrary.com/serial_kill ... _genovese/

The conclusion was that it was a diffusion of responsibilty by those present and has since been an example of bystander non-intervention.


Sadly, I think this quote from the article sums up what goes on in these situations.

One dynamic brought forth was the Bystander Effect. This theory speculates that as the “number of bystanders increases, the likelihood of any one bystander helping another decreases.” As a result, additional time will pass before anyone seeks outside help for a person in distress. Another hypothesis is something called the Diffusion of Responsibility. This is simply a decrease in the feeling of personal responsibility one feels when in the presence of many other people. The greater the number of bystanders, the less responsibility the individual feels. In cases where there are many people present during an emergency, it becomes much more likely that any one individual will simply do nothing.

In essence, the 38 witnesses felt no responsibility to act because there were so many witnesses. Each one felt that the other witness would do something. Social psychology research supports the notion that Catherine Genovese had a better chance of survival if she had been attacked in the presence of just one witness.


Although it's not really related, this reminds me of the famous psychology experiment in which various people were made to believe they were participating in an experiment testing the effects of punishment on learning. The unknowing participants were told by the person whom they believed was the instructor of the experiment to deal increasingly large amounts of electric jolts to another person (who was actually an actor who would pretend they were getting shocked). They found that even when the participants believed the actor was in terrible pain (and the actor was even begging them to stop), that 2/3 of the participants would go all the way to a lethal level of voltage as long as the "instructor" kept telling them to continue.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milgram_experiment
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Postby stomperrob » Fri May 18, 2007 2:27 am

ShoelessJoe wrote:This happened before and has been studied thoroughly by psychologists.

38 people heard Kitty Genovese's screams as she was stabbed to death in the 1964.

Here's a very in depth story...
http://www.crimelibrary.com/serial_kill ... _genovese/

The conclusion was that it was a diffusion of responsibilty by those present and has since been an example of bystander non-intervention.


I referred to that in the original post:

Just saw this on CNN - some punk beats this guy in a carjacking while witnesses atanding several feet away do nothing. Known as the "bystander" or "Genovese" effect (should be called the "coward" effect).


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Postby Dolfin99 » Fri May 18, 2007 6:15 am

Lofunzo wrote:
wake wrote:It's easy to sit here and say that we would have rushed to helped the 91 year-old man without a second thought. However, it's important to remember that this was happening in the middle of Detroit where it's common to be shot over a matter like this. What if the attacker also had a gun with him (a very real possibility for a carjacker)? Considering how little remorse he felt at beating a 91 year-old man, he would have had no problems shooting anyone who tried to attack him.

Knowing that there was a decent chance you could be killed (and what that might mean to your family) if you tried to defend the man from getting further beaten, can you say for certainty that you would've rushed to his aid? I'd like to think I would but there's no way I'll ever know for sure unless I actually find myself facing that situation.


Well, I would think that in an instance like that, we wouldn't be going through a mental flowchart. More like see what's going on and react. I would also like to add that for all of the people here saying that they would intervene, myself included, it's really easy to sit at your PC and make that claim. You never know what would happen until it happens.




I can tell you that I would have helped him in a heartbeat. This would be instinct for me. This is how I was trained.
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Postby Heimholder » Fri May 18, 2007 8:45 am

wake wrote:Although it's not really related, this reminds me of the famous psychology experiment in which various people were made to believe they were participating in an experiment testing the effects of punishment on learning. The unknowing participants were told by the person whom they believed was the instructor of the experiment to deal increasingly large amounts of electric jolts to another person (who was actually an actor who would pretend they were getting shocked). They found that even when the participants believed the actor was in terrible pain (and the actor was even begging them to stop), that 2/3 of the participants would go all the way to a lethal level of voltage as long as the "instructor" kept telling them to continue.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milgram_experiment


Yep, I remember learning about that in psych class also. It's amazing how these phenomena can override common sense and ethics, even in ordinary sane, nice people.

Also reminds me of those cases where some dude called into McDonald's, posing as a cop, and successfully instructed employees to abuse coworkers in some pretty awful ways. Happened at a couple different restaurants if I remember correctly. The mysteries of the human mind...
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Postby treat24 » Fri May 18, 2007 12:21 pm

i don't generally like to watch videos like this so I held off. I wasn't going to watch it at all, but there was just too much discussion on this thread for me to stay away. I truly can't believe that people could stand by while this happens. I would rather my face get smashed in (assuming the guy could even take me) than let that old man get beaten... Too much indifference nowadays...
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